This time for real (we think), the Hornets have traded Chris Paul to Los Angeles for an interesting package. Only this time, it's to the Clippers, not the Lakers. Recall that the NBA dropped a BIG V on the first trade that would've sent Paul to the Purple and Goldier side of LA for the Odom/Scola/Martin package.
Here's what they got instead per ESPN's Marc Stein:
Clippers and NBA-owned Hornets have agreed to Chris Paul deal in principle. Gordon, Kaman, Aminu and Minnesota pick to Hornets
The Minnesota pick is pretty huge and, in itself, better than either of the three players they were getting in the Lakers deal. They're rebuilding, high first round picks are what they need. Eric Gordon is or will be a borderline superstar, Chris Kaman is an expiring (as we know), and Al-Farouq Aminu is a complete bag of tools that will fit nicely in the New Orleans tool shed. This is easily a better haul than they were getting in the Lakers deal, which is probably why the NBA will (likely?) approve it. A few questions to think on though.
- Will Chris Paul sign an extension in Los Angeles? Reportedly, there's at least one more year guaranteed.
- Will Eric Gordon sign an extension in New Orleans?
- Is the question of a good player on an expiring contract that we brought up today bad for New Orleans? They're not terrible enough to get a top 3 pick but not good enough to make the playoffs as of now. Hopefully they buy Kaman out and he can go elsewhere.
- How does the NBA recover from this? There's such a PR swirl of tomfoolery and ballyhoo that everybody's calling for heads, and it doesn't make it any better that CP3 was traded to the same city he wasn't allowed to go to a week ago. More entertaining, though.
- Are the Clippers a title contender? CP3/Billups/Bledsoe/Butler/Griffin/DAJ I'm like....thinking about it. Hard.